'I shoot on full auto'

October 17th, 2013, 8pm

… So revealed award-winning photojournalist, Steve McCurry, at an event in London to coincide with the publication of his new book, Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, ‘Afghan Girl’ will surely make you realise you have seen this photo a million times. The haunting photo of the ‘Afghan Mona Lisa’ with the piercing green eyes.

It was heartening to hear from a professional that what matters is the stories that need to be told. Rather than having brilliant technical ability, it is having an eye for telling a story, and pausing the world to capture that moment.

In this age of digital and immediacy, it was so lovely to hear his tales of working with film - although I think the waiting weeks or months to actually see if you had captured that shot must have been frustrating. One of the things I love about digital is being able to take a photo and see whether I have managed to capture it as I see it in my mind’s eye. And I delight in being able to show my subject the photo too. Steve certainly appreciates this positive aspect of digital photography to get him a few more shots.

I’ve always felt a bit lacking as I use a full auto digital camera, so this maxim was the perfect tonic for me to continue to take photos and tell stories.

Photography is all about the story.

(the photo is the Afghan Girl 17 years later, pictured with one of her little girls)

Yiling, Chloe, Sanna, Ser Chim and 21 others said thanks.

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So-Shan Au

Londoner, bit of writing, takes photos, book geek, works in publishing, loves maps, typography, papercuts, architecture, trees, art, design, photography, gardening... @soshanau

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